The Journey Of Life, Social Connection And Yoga
Human connection is of utmost importance ...
POSTED BY ANNE MARIE TOVEY ON 12/08/2020 @ 8:00AM
My dad loved to say there are two things in life you can't avoid, death and taxes. So it was with sadness this past Thursday that I received a phone call from my mom's best friend to tell me that she had passed away ...
I love to bring the magic of yoga to others on their journey through life!
copyright: djoronimo / 123rf
She was 87, lived on her own, was physically able to take care of herself, with a strong and healthy mind. She had a wonderful supportive group of friends and was an amazing baker, still baking cakes for customers the day before she died. She was always ready to offer her many skills to the benefit of others who needed it.
"So, why am I sharing this story you may ask?"
Well, the last few years of her life, my mom had become a true inspiration to me. Despite being independent, she was not in the greatest of health and she had an aneurysm that was a constant threat.
Yet she always had time for other people and was always ready to share what she could to spread a bit of joy and in return experience the gift of happiness herself through her connection with other people. Although she was alone, she was never lonely because of this.
In his book, The Changing Mind, Daniel Levitin writes:
"Loneliness is associated with early mortality. It has been implicated in just about every medical problem you can think of, including cardiovascular incidents, personality disorders, psychosis and cognitive decline.
Loneliness can double the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease. It increases the stress hormones, which in turn lead to arthritis and diabetes, dementia and increased suicide attempts. It leads to inflammation and negates the beneficial effects of exercise on neurogenesis, the growth of new neurons. Loneliness is worse for your health than smoking fifteen cigarettes a day. If you are chronically lonely, the risk that you will die in the next seven years goes up by 30%."
When we're fully present with another person, we increase the likelihood of experiencing a sense of union and connection. Really connecting with someone in a conversation creates what Barbara Fredrickson describes so beautifully: "Really 'clicking' with someone else appears to be a whole brain dance in a fully mirrored room' i.e. essentially extensive neuronal coupling, our brains dance and mirror together!"
"What does this have to do with yoga though?"
Experts theorize that being embedded in a community is biologically reassuring. It confers a protective effect that actually seems to boost immunity and fights stress and inflammation.
As I shared in my personal story in a previous blog post, yoga was my lifeline at a time when I needed it most for this very reason. Yoga helped me to embrace my passion, created an opening for me to connect to other people and to experience joy again.
Yoga is certainly not the only way to find that connection with other like-minded souls to keep our brains 'dancing in a mirrored room', but it definitely ranks as the number one on my list, and I love to bring the magic of yoga to others on their journey through life.
As my dad said, death is a certainty, but we should all make that journey a healthy one filled with joy and happy connection with others, as I honour my mother’s memory and aspire to follow in her footsteps.
Until next time ...
ANNE MARIE TOVEY
I offer personalised 1-2-1 yoga classes, a 10-week Yoga4Health Programme commissioned by the NHS
or monthly subscription chair-based yoga classes on Zoom three times a week at 12 noon to 12:30pm
on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Would you like to know more?
If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about yoga, do call me on 07768 314962, leave a comment below or click the Messenger icon in the bottom right of your browser to chat.
You can also visit my website at https://www.ageless-yoga.co.uk.
About Anne Marie Tovey ...
Anne Marie completed an 18-month yoga teacher training through Yoga Campus in London in February 2020 to share the magical benefits of yoga with others.
She also recently completed a PTSD and Yoga4Health certifications through The Minded Institute to help people dealing with trauma and those who want to start a healthier lifestyle through yoga.
Helping business owners to create a supportive working environment that will have a positive impact on their business. The benefits, that flow from the holistic and systemic approach from yoga, will have a rippling effect on the health of all employees, their families, their communities and all stakeholders from the bottom up and equally from the top down.
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